Hey Dad..! scandal rocks old TV fave

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Sex-abuse claims on 1980s sitcom as former cast member speaks out.

Allegations made by a former cast member of long-running Australian sitcom Hey Dad..! have come as a shock to viewers who remember the Channel Seven show for the laughter.

Former child actress Sarah Monahan, now resident in the USA, has told Woman's Day magazine that while she played the role of 10-year-old "Jenny Kelly" in the sitcom she was the victim of sexual abuse.

She made claims about an unnamed male connected with the production which ran from 1987 to 1994.

"This person used to sit me on his lap or tickle me, but then he started putting his arm around me and trying to do this reach-around and grabbing me, but at the same time trying to feel me up," she told the magazine.

"He was always there flashing me or trying to cop a feel. I quickly learned never to be alone in private with him."

Monahan, who did not indicate whether the male was cast, crew or management, played one of the beloved Kelly family members in the series which revolved around a widower architect, his children and his ditzy secretary.

Following the allegations two former cast members have responded to the claims, speaking to A Current Affair.

Julie McGregor, who played secretary Betty said, "I had heard something, but I had no idea of the extent of the monstering.

"And I feel sorry for her that she didn't have anyone to turn to. But isn't that always the way with children?"

McGregor said she didn't know for certain who the perpetrator was.

"I thought I had a feeling that I might know, but no ... I can only speculate," she said.

Hey Dad..! is Australia's most successful sitcom of all time. In a genre that is difficult to pull off it delivered an astonishing 291 episodes. Production team Gary Reilly Productions, which also produced the shorter Hampton Court and My Two Wives, perfected gag-telling in the family-favourite sitcom. The show was sold to 20 countries, and was a hit in France, Spain and Germany.

Since the allegations made by Monahan, who now produces television with her husband in the US, more people attached to the show are believed to be coming forward to speak up.

Comments (3)
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Mar 25, 2010
It has since come to light that the allegations are against Robert Hughes, who played the Dad, Martin Kelly. One of the former cast members who gave ACA an interview is Ben Oxenbould, who played Ben Hubner.
Mar 18, 2010
I find it appalling that this woman tells her story to a gossip rag which is naturally picked up by Current Affair shows, yet has not gone to the police. Talk about allowing speculation and innuendo about the innocent. Tell it to the people who matter.
I don't deny it happened, but to finally spill the beans on WD is just plain pathetic.
Mar 18, 2010
Great a whole bunch of speculation. Name the SOB or STFU abused woman! What a pointless read.

All these women after extra $ going Bingle style are just a waste of space.